Low End DSLR: digital photography on a budget

August 12, 2006

Arizona Poppies

Arizona Poppies

A close up of the yellow flowers from the previous entry. We typically get wildflowers in the spring in the desert. The beauty of the display depends upon how much winter rain we receive. The rains this summer have brought out a beautiful display of these Arizona Poppies. You can even see them covering the side of mountains with their brilliant yellow petals.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 11, 2006

Trail Head

inviting trail head

This trail head is made more inviting by the green plants and yellow flowers along its border. It leads to a stream that you’d think would be cool and refreshing, but instead is warm and a bit muddy. The warmth comes from the desert heat, the mud because when it rains the stream becomes a muddy torrent that closes the road into/out of the park.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 10, 2006

The Green Desert

green mountains in arizona

We’ve continued to receive rain since the flooding, and the desert has transformed from brown to green—so much so that you can see the green on the mountains. This is Catalina State Park, north of Tucson, which has received almost twice the amount of rain as it normally does by this time of year. Note the gray clouds ready to drop more rain on the mountains.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 09, 2006

Cartwheeling

crazy cartwheeling stunt plane

The Geico stunt plane pilot tumbled his plane through the sky for much of his show. He must have had quite a headache from pulling all those Gs - both positive and negative.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 04, 2006

T-birds

Thunderbirds, flying in a stacked formation

The Air Force Thunderbirds from an airshow in Tucson last spring.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 03, 2006

Flood, part 3

Pantano wash like liquid chocolate

Like liquid chocolate.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 02, 2006

Flood, part 2

Pantano wash at sunset

Pantano Wash at Sunset.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

August 01, 2006

Flood, part 1

Pantano wash runnning bank to bank

In October of 1983 Tucson had several days of rainfall. The washes and normally dry rivers filled beyond flood stages, damaging bridges and several homes and apartment complexes. 10 years later we had a similar event, and even more damage in monetary terms. This past weekend we had a large amount of rain dropped on the nearby mountain ranges, which drained into these washes and rivers. Due to structural improvements on the banks and to bridges, we had less damage, even though the amount of water that came through was greater than either of the previous flood events.

The image above shows one of the washes flowing bank to bank, looking north to the Catalina Mountains.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 18, 2006

Steps

Gray steps

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 17, 2006

July 14, 2006

July 13, 2006

Swinging

Young girl swinging with blue sky and clouds in the background

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 12, 2006

July 11, 2006

Sabino Canyon Cactus

A variety of cactus in Sabino Canyon

1/800, f3.6, 18mm, iso 100

This image is a bit soft - should have stopped down and decreased the shutter speed - and I cropped the prickly pear in the foreground too close, but I still like how it turned out.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 07, 2006

Sabino Canyon Nursery Tree

A mesquite tree acting as “nurse” to 6 saguaro cactus

1/160, f8, 21mm, iso 100

It is not uncommon to see a relatively young (no arms yet) saguaro cactus growing right next to a Palo Verde or Mesquite tree in the Sonoran Desert. These trees are called nurse trees because they provide shelter to the slow growing saguaro as it matures. A healthy saquaro can live to be 150 years or more, outliving its nurse, which is why you don’t see this relationship with larger saguaros.

This nurse tree, a Mesquite, seems to be running a nursery with 6 saguaro cactus under her branches.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 06, 2006

Sabino Canyon Saguaro Forest

A forest of saguaro cactus in Sabino Canyon

1/80, f6.4, 18mm, iso 100

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 05, 2006

Sabino Canyon Clouds

Clouds over Sabino Canyon

1/125, f9, 18mm, iso 100

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 04, 2006

Sabino Canyon Sunset

A number of saguaro cactus silhouetted by a pink sunset

This image was taken on New Year’s Day, 2006. We had a great hike, and cool weather - but not at all cold. The sunset was spectacular, and I had a fun time capturing it.

1/125, f4.9, 80mm, iso 400

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos

July 03, 2006

Sabino Canyon in Black and White

A black and white picture of mountains, clouds and cactus

This conversion was done in iPhoto using the Adjust HUD to control saturation and add a slight blue tint by changing the white balance temperature.

1/200, f/2.8, 54mm, iso 100

Continue reading “Sabino Canyon in Black and White”

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos | iPhoto

March 14, 2006

A Digital Photographer's Worst Nightmare

If you are shooting film, you have to protect that film. You make sure it is completely rewound before removing it from the camera. You worry about sending it through the X-ray machine at the airport. You dread someone opening the door of the darkroom while you are developing, and you pray that you don’t have the “new guy” processing your precious prints at the lab.

As a digital photographer I am blissfully unconcerned about those issues. But I have my own fears to face. Hard drive failure and no back-ups (note to self, make sure my back-ups are up to date), losing a CF card, or having a CF card go south.

That last one hit me last night.

Continue reading “A Digital Photographer's Worst Nightmare”

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Photos | Software | Comments (14)

March 10, 2006

One Third - Photo a day number 10


One Third - Photo a day number 10
Originally uploaded by gnuhaus.

Playing off the idea of being one third done with the 30 day photo challenge and the “rule of thirds.”

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Photo a Day Challenge | Photos | Comments (0)

March 09, 2006

Crate - Photo a day number 9


Crate - Photo a day number 9
Originally uploaded by gnuhaus.

I like this one for a number of reasons - the lines, the texture, the light, the juxtaposition of the organic lines with the geometric lines, the color.

But I am biased since I took the photo. What do you think?

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Photo a Day Challenge | Photos | Comments (2)

March 05, 2006

String of lights - Photo a day number 5


String of lights - Photo a day number 5
Originally uploaded by gnuhaus.

A string of lights in the courtyard of the Tucson Museum of Art.

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Digital Rebel/XT | Photo a Day Challenge | Photos

February 17, 2006

The Canon Digital Rebel

Also known as the 300D, this is Canon’s entry level DSLR. Street price is about $700 with the 18-55mm kit lens. This is the camera I have been using (and learning to use) for about a year now.

Since it occupies the low end of Canon’s DSLR offerings, it does not have all the bells and whistles of it’s more expensive brethren, but I have yet to exhaust all the possibilities with it.

There options range from fully automatic, which lets the camera make all the decisions for you with regard to exposure and focus, to fully manual, where you are in charge of everything from ISO and shutter speed to f-stop and focus.

Since it is a digital camera, the time it takes to learn how all of these options work together to create a compelling image is greatly reduced. Being able to view the results immediately on the LCD viewer means making quick adjustments and reshooting is possible. And having all the EXIF data available when comparing shots on the computer makes it easier and faster to understand the relationship between ISO and noise, or f-stop and depth of field.

For me, this has been a great first SLR.

Continue reading “The Canon Digital Rebel”

Posted by Mark in: 300d/350d | Canon | Digital Rebel/XT | Equipment | Comments (6)

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